After its victories against Paris and Metz, Rennes wants to continue its momentum in Ligue 1 with the reception of Strasbourg this Sunday afternoon.
The meeting will be marked by the reunion between Julien Stéphan and his former club.
In the Breton capital, the new coach of Strasbourg has acquired the status of legend after the victory of the Rouge et Noir in the Coupe de France.
When the schedule for the season was released on June 25, there is no doubt that he checked the date. Rennes supporters too. Eight months after resigning from his position as Stade Rennais coach, Julien Stéphan will return to his former club this Sunday afternoon. The reunion promises to be hot with the audience of Roazhon Park who have not forgotten their druid. “He loved the club and the city,” says Jean-François. The romance started in December 2018 after the dismissal of Sabri Lamouchi. Until then coach of the reserve team, Julien Stéphan then only had to act as interim. But after two victories against Lyon and Dijon, he had already convinced everyone and signed a CDD.
The club will not regret it since it is under his orders that Stade Rennais wrote the most beautiful pages in its history and shed its image of eternal loser.
The supporters of course keep in mind the historic victory in the Coupe de France against PSG in 2019, putting an end to 48 years of famine.
"It is the coach who gave back a title to Stade Rennais and just for that, we can never thank him enough," said Kilo.
"He erased a distant memory and gave birth to new hopes for the club," adds Olivier.
His legendary talk in the Coupe de France final
During this crazy meeting, his talk at halftime had marked the spirits.
In the locker room, while his team was led 2-1, the coach had galvanized his troops with a speech entered into the legend of the Red and Black.
"Can't you see they're starting to doubt?"
», Had dropped the coach, almost inhabited.
Here is an excerpt from Julien Stéphan's incredible speech at half-time in the 2019 Coupe de France final 🔴⚫️
👉 For the full video: https://t.co/4yu3Fnod51#Rennes #PSG #Exploit #CDF @staderennais @S_R_Online @ofstaderennais @ 35_StadeRennais pic.twitter.com/CnESS9gSmq
- Goalazo (@FootGoalazo) April 27, 2021
Under his orders, Stade Rennais was also used to not giving up.
Thanks to “Stéphan Time”, the Breton club had indeed taken the habit of changing the matches at the very end of the game.
"With him, we played with a lot of bravery and fighting spirit, we had the ability to turn any situation around," recalls Clément.
"He put the club and the institution above everything"
His accounting record also speaks for him with 49 wins, 24 draws and 37 losses in 110 games.
With the key to a great epic in the Europa League in 2019 and crazy matches against Betis and Arsenal as well as a historic qualification the following year in the Champions League.
"By his results, he marked Stade Rennais for eternity," says Philippe.
🔴⚫️ Review of Julien Stéphan at the head of the Stade Rennais first team.
➡️ 110 matches: 49 V - 24 N - 37 D
➡️ 157 Bp - 130 Bc
🏆 Winner Coupe de France 2019
➡️ 8th finalist Europa League 2019
➡️ 3rd in Ligue 1 2020
🔗 https://t.co/GMCMMmEp3O pic .twitter.com / C6nnHundIa
- ROUGEmémoire 🔴⚫ SRFC (@ROUGEmemoire) March 1, 2021
The rest will be less rosy. After a series of seven games without a win, Julien Stéphan, without a solution, will finally slam the door at the end of February "with a heavy heart". Astonishment and sadness had then animated the supporters. But his resignation now seems to have been digested. And even understood and greeted by some supporters. "He preferred to withdraw when he thought he was no longer the man for the job," said Clément. Many would have clung to the post until dismissal but he put the club before his person. “He put the club and the institution above everything, continues Julien. And in a world more than ever centered on individualism, it is a fine example of collective thought ”.
To hear them, Rennes supporters are therefore likely to adulate their JUJU Stéphan for a long time to come.
"He will leave a big mark here, he is now a legend," concludes Arthur.
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